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Life in lockdown: A new series of reports in the words of our customers

We’re talking to some of our customers who are socially distancing. Isolating but not on their own. Albert and Jean live in a retirement living community managed by Care Plus. This is their story, told by Albert.

“My wife has got leukaemia and we’ve both got underlying medical conditions so it wasn’t a surprise when we were contacted by the NHS to say we had to go into shielding.

We knew we were at risk. Lockdown is a state of mind. There isn’t any point worrying about it; we know what we’ve got to do. To be honest, we’re treating it like a holiday. There’s nowhere we need to be and nothing we have to do. We watch a bit of TV and enjoy the sunshine through the window. We’re pretending we are in Spain.

We’re lucky, really. We’ve got each other and we get a call each morning from the staff here, checking we are OK and asking if there is anything we need. They put us in touch with a volunteer, too. His name is Matt and he ‘phoned to ask if he could help us with our shopping. He’s been brilliant. I pass him a list and he delivers the bags through the window. It’s a good job we’re not on the top floor, or he’d have to use a ladder!

I did go out once. We saw a lady fall out of her wheelchair. I rushed out to pick her up, without thinking. I was still in my underwear.

We’re doing great. It’s other people I feel sorry for, people who maybe live on their own, without the support that we get here. It’s a lot worse for those who are ill and people like our son who likes to get out and climb mountains. I wish everyone was doing as well as us.

We’ve got grandchildren and great grandchildren and we keep in touch with everyone using video calls. It’s almost like they are here. When this is over it will be lovely to see people properly. The first thing we’ll do is take that holiday to Spain.”

Read more ‘Life in Lockdown’ stories on the Care Plus website here.

Help and support

We are doing everything we can to keep all of our customers safe and supported at this difficult time. Many of our staff have retrained to help with the reassurance calls that we are making to thousands of customers weekly. We are also offering financial advice, as well as signposting to wellbeing and safeguarding services. For more information on where you can find further support, please visit the coronavirus area of our member websites:

Severnside Housing

South Staffordshire Housing Association

Stafford and Rural Homes

Care Plus